Bruce Presents: NFTs: Separating the Myth from the Moment

Thursday, July 8, 2021 — 7:00pm - 8:30pm

NFTs: Separating the Myth from the Moment is the latest installment of the Bruce Museum’s acclaimed speaker series Bruce Presents: Thought Leaders in the Fields of Art and Science, which has presented in-person and online events since 2019.

Join the Bruce Museum for this online, live-streamed Zoom webinar on June 8, 2021, at 7 pm.  Tickets are free for Bruce Museum Members; $20 for non-members.

Bruce Presents producer and panel moderator Leonard Jacobs conceived of the topic in response to his own growing curiosity about, and fascination with, the NFT movement. “If you’re paying even slight attention to the rejuvenating art world in 2021, the topic of the non-fungible token is, indeed, not fungible. It’s utterly real; it’s radically remaking the business of art at the same time as the aesthetics of the work itself. Nor is the heft of the NFT limited to art: look at music, look at video and film, look at brands and corporate identity. They’re all starting to get the NFT lift.”

Bruce Museum COO and Managing Director Suzanne Lio, co-creator of the Bruce Presents series, added, “What’s most remarkable about the emerging NFT world is that it has been emerging for some time. It’s just in the last year or two that the mainstream art world has caught up with the vanguard in a significant way, which tells us something about the power that can result when you marry technological innovation with artistic skill and the desire to effect radical change.”

The panelists for NFTs: Separating the Myth from the Moment are:

Marguerite deCourcelle, aka Coin Artist, is an Artist, Creative Technologist, and Game Designer who has created many firsts within the blockchain creator economy since 2014. She is internationally recognized for cultivating crypto art by BBC, MIT, NASA, and Bloomberg. She is credited for inventing cryptopuzzles and is currently the CEO of one of the earliest NFT game companies, Blockade Games, since 2018. Her most renowned artwork is known as Torched H34R7S, a cryptopuzzle from 2015.

Noble A. DraKoln is the co-founder of, where NFT art meets music royalties. After being involved with NFTs for the past year, Drakoln felt there was an opportunity to connect digital art with real-world musical royalty income. This project has been well received, with one of his NFTs having sold for 25 eth ($100,000) and two others selling for 35 eth ($140,000). This is the culmination of a 28-year career as a leading authority in investing, authoring the books Winning the Trading Game and Trade Like a Pro, and vast experience in the tech startup space as advisor for M Accelerator and Expert Dojo, and one of two lead investors in M Accelerator Venture Fund 1, and patent holder of Augmented Reality, where merchandise meets video games. A keynote speaker worldwide, DraKoln is contributing writer to Forbes, Futures Magazine, and a radio and TV commentator on Bloomberg and Fox Business News.

Matt Kane is a Chicago-born artist and self-taught programmer prominently active in the crypto art scene. His advocacy for the rights of artists to participate in their own success led to a minimum 10% secondary-sale royalty for artists across the NFT industry by mid-2020. Kane was recently listed among the Top 100 Notable People in Blockchain by Cointelegraph and was the winner of 2020s Most Innovative NFT Award. In the last year, his work has been featured at exhibitions in Rome, Beijing, New York, London, and Hong Kong. In June, the NFT for his digital artwork “Meules after Claude Monet” was auctioned by Sotheby's. Through custom art studio software he designed, Kane leverages algorithms to produce vibrant, richly detailed, multilayered visions addressing the most varied themes—“exploring historical aesthetics with code.”

David Stark is the Founder and President of Artestar, an international brand licensing and consulting agency specializing in established fine art, fashion and design brands. The firm works with its clients to promote their brands, and model and execute licensing programs by analyzing product, market, and customer trends. Some of the firm’s current clients include the Keith Haring Foundation, the Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat, the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, the Herb Ritts Foundation, The Estate of Tom Wesselmann, The Estate of James Rosenquist, Kenny Scharf, Ai Weiwei, Maripol, and Erik Parker, among others. Artestar’s customers operate in a broad range of categories from fashion brands to household consumer products. Some of the firm’s customers include Coach, Uniqlo, L’Oreal, Dior, Lanvin, Nike, Adidas, Raf Simons, Comme Des Garcons, and Inditex. Artestar was founded in 2003. Mr. Stark also owns and operates Flatiron Editions, a fine art publisher and Rome Pays Off, a product manufacturer, and consumer brand.

Ryan Walkenhorst McBride is a cybersecurity and data privacy consultant and attorney. As an attorney, she provides strategic counseling on brand development and protection for clients in a variety of industries. Ryan’s practice includes trademark selection and clearance; opposition and cancellation matters in front of the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and abroad; trademark and copyright licensing; copyright registration and enforcement; unfair competition; and domain name disputes. As a cybersecurity and data privacy consultant, she works with brands to develop and implement data privacy and security infrastructures and ensure compliance.

Silas Alexander is a trademark attorney at Knobbe Martens, an intellectual property firm based in Orange County that advises clients around the globe. With a professional background in policy, marketing, and digital advertising, Silas’s legal practice focuses on amplifying clients’ IP portfolio impact and reducing common, costly IP-related headaches. A member of both Washington Lawyers for the Arts and the Seattle IP Inn of Court, Silas has researched and published multiple articles surrounding the copyright and branding implications of NFT proliferation, including pieces in AdAge and IP Watchdog.”


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